Our pet project, Beauzeaux (pronounced: BOZO), began as a serendipitous blend that garnered a whimsical name from our passionate Beaulieu winemakers. The wine incorporates some of the team’s favorite varietals like Charbono, Petite Sirah and Touriga Nacional. These are varietals with deep history but are rarely planted and not easily found in today’s Napa Valley. In addition to these unexpected varieties, Zinfandel which gives the wine its core of spicy, boysenberry expression and Petite Sirah which adds deep color and layers of complex aromas and flavors are also included in the final blend.
Zinfandel gives the wine its core of spicy, boysenberry expression and Petite Sirah adds deep color and layers of complex aromas and flavors are also included in the final blend. The huge, beautiful berry enhanced nose that opens the wine is the subtle (or not-so-subtle) reason for the playful name. The wine has a lush texture with matured, smooth, well-integrated tannins and the overall velvety nature makes it a crowd favorite.
The interesting varietals in this wine come from grapes grown in the historic Beaulieu Vineyard Ranch 12 and Beaulieu Vineyard Ranch 11 vineyards. BV Ranch 12, located in Calistoga, experiences dramatic diurnal temperature swings with hot days and very cool evening. There is a wide range of soil types in this vineyard and its home to Beaulieu’s most diverse set of vine plantings including Touriga Nacional, Tempranillo, Charbono, Marsanne and many more. The Beaulieu Vineyard Ranch No. 11 vineyard is located in northern Napa Valley just south of Calistoga. The devotion to farming this historic vineyard gem is rewarded year after year with expressive and richly flavored grapes.
The 2016 vintage was an outstanding year for high quality, fully-developed fruit with concentrated color and flavor. The Napa Valley region enjoyed extensive rains during the winter months which significantly helped battle the ongoing drought and encouraged overall yield numbers. A cooler than normal August pushed harvest start dates and allowed fruit considerable hang time, which resulted in wines with bright aromatics and generous, dark fruit flavors.
After hand harvesting, the grapes were immediately brought across the street into the winery. The grapes were destemmed and crushed and cold soaked for 2 to 4 days to gently ease color and flavor. During the 10 to 12-day fermentation, timely pumpovers kept the skins in contact with the juice for excellent flavor and tannin extraction. Each varietal is vinified and aged separately until final blending. The wine spent 16 months in 40% new French, American and Hungarian oak barrels - giving the final blend softened tannins and toasty barrel notes.